Two years exactly since this fic started, and two years later, my baby is finished. –pets wondie proudly-
take me with you back to wonderland.
He could hear Sakura calling to him, trying to get his attention, but it was hard to focus on her words – on anything – when he was constantly slipping in and out of consciousness.
"Syaoran, stay with me. Don't you dare lose conscious! There's no way in hell I'm dragging your heavy self out of here!"
Are you saying I'm fat? He wanted to retort, but could barely find the strength to form any words. They were moving, and the pain in his side was becoming unbearable. It was becoming difficult to stay conscious and moving, particularly when his eyelids were feeling dreadfully heavy.
"Just leave me," he managed to say, his voice breathy and exhausted before he finally buckled down and lost consciousness. Sakura cursed, stopping to lower him down so he didn't land harshly. She rubbed at her eyes, willing herself not to cry due to the frustration she was feeling. For all she knew, Kaname could be dead, along with the others, and Kenji and Jamie were no where in sight…
"Damn it," she muttered to herself as she stood up and linked her hands beneath Syaoran's armpits. She lifted his upper body up and dragged him through the parking garage, heading towards the open entrance where, hopefully, she would be able to find Kenji and Jamie.
Her pace quickened when she heard a door open and close, and she almost stumbled when she heard the sounds of footsteps echoing around the garage, the person moving slowly but surely in her direction. She could see the exit a bit away, now if only she could make it…
She heard the gun fire and whipped her head around, seeing Subaro standing up ahead with his pistol pointed at her. It was only when she felt something wet dribble down her cheek that she raised her hand and touched it. She pulled her hand back and saw red staining her fingertips. The bullet had grazed her cheek. Sakura stood there frozen and wary of Subaro, her eyes narrowed at his gun, watching, waiting for anymore sudden movements or bullets. The fact that Subaro made it out and not Kaname meant only one thing…
She grit her teeth and tried not to think about it.
"You are quite the hassle, you know that, Sakura?" Subaro asked.
The parking garage, being in a different building than the research center, wasn't affected by the going off of the bombs. Which was fortunate and unfortunate – fortunate in that things weren't falling down on them, and unfortunate in that there were no distractions for Sakura to escape. It was either run and risk getting Syaoran and herself shot, or give up, which she really didn't want to do considering all the sacrifices and the whole 100 yards the others went through to try and save her.
"But now it's just you and me," he said, cocking his pistol somewhat as he smiled at her. "And you and I know the only thing for you to do in this situation is to leave Xiaolang where he is and come with me."
"Isn't it already too late to go to the helicopter?" Sakura asked skeptically. "What-with the building falling apart and all…"
"Which was why I radioed them and changed location," Subaro said simply. It was obvious he was beginning to grow impatient with Sakura's supposed-ignorance. Surely it wasn't necessary for him to answer her idiotic questions? "I really don't have time for this, girl. Put Xiaolang down or I will put a bullet through his head."
If every villain was good at one thing, it was that they were very good at threatening people's 'loved ones.' It was horribly cliché, but still very effective in times of falling buildings and wanting-to-get-the-hell-out-of-there situations. Sakura figured Subaro was the type to shoot first and ask questions later, but she knew she had the upper hand in this situation, even though Subaro was holding the gun and making the threats. If he shot Syaoran, Sakura wouldn't hesitate to attack, and it would be a problem for Subaro to shoot his precious weapon, wouldn't it? The only way he could get her to do what he wanted was by threatening Syaoran's life, along with everyone else's.
It was times like these where victims in Sakura's shoes would worry and fret over the lives of her dear friends. That showed what little faith they had in their friends. Sakura realized that. She realized she shouldn't be so worried over the other's well being because they wouldn't want that. They were all assassins. They were all far more capable of fighting than she was. While she was stronger, she still didn't know how to control herself and fight so… skillfully. But either way, Sakura needed to keep a cool, leveled head about her predicament. It wouldn't do any good to rush head on and attack Subaro, but it wouldn't do her any good to give up either…
"Alright, alright," she muttered, laying Syaoran down and walking around so she was protecting his body with her own. She raised her hands up in a gesture of submission. "I give in. Just don't shoot Syaoran, and don't hurt the others anymore."
He tilted his head and studied her for some moments, noting the passive look she wore on her face as she tried to hide the defeat from her eyes. He walked over, his gun trained on her as he completely disregarded the unconscious Syaoran. He was of no concern to Subaro anymore since he was going to bleed to death anyway. He cocked his weapon at Sakura, urging her to move, and move she did as she walked towards the parking garage exit, Subaro's pistol pointed at the back of her head as he followed her.
For Sakura, giving up wasn't an option. So what was she doing surrendering to Subaro and walking with a gun pointed at her head? Why, that was simple. She was getting close enough to him so she could do something like twist around, knock Subaro's gun from his hand and aim a punch at his face. Which she did just as planned. That was well and all but she learned one thing: Even though Subaro was much older, that didn't mean he was weak. Because as soon as she tried punching him, he caught her fist and his other hand shot up and grabbed her neck. He lifted her easily off of her feet and slammed her against a nearby pillar, causing her to gasp as she kicked at air, clutching his arm with her free hand.
"You really think you can underestimate me like that, Sakura?" he asked, grinning viciously in her face. "You and the others weren't the only ones I tested on…"
She tried to breathe as she clawed at his arm with her free hand. He tossed her aside and to the ground, leaving her gasping for air and holding her neck. She coughed and lifted her gaze, watching him with wary eyes as he moved to pick up his gun. Sakura acted quick and kicked at it, making it slide across the garage floor and under a car.
"Now, now, Sakura, that wasn't necessary," he said as he turned to her, striking her across the face. She fell back to the ground with a wince, but pushed herself up just as he was advancing towards her. Who would have thought the guy was strong? It always seemed like he wasn't considering his constant bodyguards that were around him 24/7. "Come on, girl, stop making this so difficult."
"Like Hell I'm going with you," she glowered as she lunged at him, throwing a fist in his direction. He dodged it easily and sent an uppercut right into her gut. The wind was knocked out of her. Her body doubled forward reflexively and she gasped and wheezed, her eyes watering from the blow. Not only was he strong, but he was quick and sharp as well.
"You may feel weak right now," Subaro said as he gathered some of her hair in his fist, lifting her head up and forcing her to look at him. "But you are strong. It's only a matter of learning how to use that power correctly. That is something I can help you with."
"Sounds great and all," Sakura said through gritted teeth, "but you're forgetting one important factor: I don't want your 'help.'" And with that said, she punched him in the abdomen, causing him to release her hair and stumble back as the wind was knocked from him. She got up to her feet and seized some of his hair before punching him again, although this time in the face. She was going to send another blow at him when he suddenly tackled her down. She kicked him off when she managed to compose herself from the abruptness and rolled back onto her feet just as Subaro got up. Emerald eyes were narrowed into onyx, and she could tell by the dark look in his eyes that he was starting to take her seriously.
Sakura may not have 'proper' training like Syaoran and the others, and she may not know any fancy Kung-Fu, but she was still a cop. She knew how to fight.
"The more we fight, the more Xiaolang dies," Subaro said. She stilled, eyes going wide. He smiled. "I suppose I'll help him, if you comply."
"'Suppose'?" Sakura repeated dryly. "I'd rather take my chances fighting you."
But he did have a point. Syaoran was bleeding to death somewhere on the garage floor. The longer the fight kept going, the longer it would be before Sakura could take Syaoran to safety, the shorter time he had to live. Well, it just meant she would have to kill Subaro quicker. She growled and charged at him, throwing a fist his way. Subaro grabbed her fist with one hand, his other hand grasping her arm before he twisted himself around and flung her over his shoulder. She was thrown roughly into a car, denting the hood and smashing the window behind her. A growl rumbled somewhere from deep in her chest as she pushed herself up, brushing off dusts of glass that had fallen on to her shoulders and shirt. She stood on the roof of the car before running along it and jumping into the air.
Subaro ducked, anticipating a kick, but Sakura, knowing he would expect that, set her feet down on either of his shoulders and kicked off, forcing him to stumble while she flipped in the air and landed gracefully behind him. She was really starting to feel frustrated when they started exchanging blow after blocked blow after blow… Frustrated because the fight was dragging out too long; frustrated because Syaoran was bleeding on the floor; frustrated because Kaname, the others, they could all be dead…
Frustrated because, for some strange, twisted reason, she couldn't stop thinking about Syaoran, and memories involving Syaoran, such as that cocky grin that had long since grown on her nerves to the point she always wanted to punch him; his cocky grin that she had grown immune to the point she forgot she had ever wanted to punch him. She was frustrated because she couldn't stop thinking about him and his infuriating smiles and how he had somehow gotten beneath her skin and wedged his way forcefully into her heart…
"…You called me Syaoran back there."
His eyes danced with the same usual mockery. His grin was cocky – as usual.
"…No I didn't!"
"You so did!"
"No I don't!"
"Like, when I was all – 'I know you find my body irresistible, Sakura! So now here's your chance!' And you were all: 'Honestly, Syaoran – ' See! You did!"
And she couldn't, she just couldn't, for the life of her, understand when and where she had started to feel attracted to Syaoran. She never noticed when he became such a big part of her life. She never noticed when he started to really get to her; when she stopped seeing him as some irritating bastard, but as something more. The fact that she was trying so hard to beat Subaro, to save Syaoran and the others, wasn't just because she felt she owed them – felt she owed him. She knew she didn't owe them anything.
They were her friends.
And Syaoran, Syaoran…
He flashed her a lopsided grin. "Ai-yi, Nurse Sakura."
"…And don't call me that."
"Whatever you say, Nurse Sakura!"
"…I said not to call me that!"
Silence, and then a mumble:
There was something there for Syaoran, something deep within her that sent her heart fluttering and pounding wildly in her chest; that pumped her blood viciously with adrenaline; something that rushed through her veins and willed her to keep fighting. Perhaps it was the drugs and chemicals injected into her body, but she felt strong – stronger than ever – and Subaro wasn't going to get in her way of saving Syaoran.
He wasn't Kaname. With Kaname it was all sweet and tender and loving and gentle…
With Syaoran it was a whirlwind of events and emotions. It was wild. It was untamed. It was free and so much more…
"J'ai envie de t'embrasser."
It was most definitely unwise to be musing over such things when in a heated situation such as fighting someone for yours and someone else's lives… but Sakura couldn't help it. Because now – now – she was starting to understand the undeniable attraction between her and Syaoran. The attraction was always there, but it was blooming overtime, slowly and gradually becoming something much stronger and brighter and more beautiful and solid…It may not be as strong as it can be – the feelings she felt for him – but it was there, and it was young and it was growing and all that mattered was that it was there because she never felt such an ardent urge to protect someone so.
It was more than just protecting and saving Syaoran because he was a human being and Sakura wouldn't let the innocent die. With Syaoran, Sakura felt alive. With Syaoran, Sakura could be herself. With Syaoran, things were never certain, never sure, but it was solid and it was new. With Syaoran, Sakura always felt like she was apart of another world made for the two of them. There was no one in their world but them; no one but the one they saw reflected in each other's eyes. All of that was worth protecting.
It was funny because it was usually the man fighting to save the woman. It was funny and strange, but Sakura didn't mind the reversal in roles one bit. Like Hell she would sit back and let someone fight for her. Syaoran had a reason to be laying, bleeding on the floor. Sakura didn't. And so she was fighting for him; for herself; for everyone. And just knowing that pushed her on and on and always back on to her feet, no matter how many times she fell to the floor or how many blows she received. She wasn't tired. She wasn't backing down. Subaro couldn't last forever. She was going to back him into a corner and get the upper and…
She was more than startled when she was suddenly thrown through the windshield of a car.
No matter how much he told his body to move, it just wouldn't. His eyelids were far too heavy to open, and the darkness was much too comforting for him to pull away from it. It was his blanket; draped over him, numbing him from the pain that he was bound to be bombarded with when he returned to consciousness. But he couldn't help but feel that he was falling much too deep in this shrouded darkness.
And so, comfort or not, he really couldn't let himself diminish like this, and with little to no dignity, no less.
If Li Syaoran was one thing, he was a fighter.
He felt like it was another morning: getting up and out of bed was always so difficult what-with the comfy pillows and the blanket and the cushioning… Except this darkness seemed so much more tantalizing and tempting and dangerous…
But Syaoran told himself to wake up, told his eyes to open, told his limbs to move because he couldn't afford to go out like this. He couldn't afford to be that fragile candle with that fragile flame where only a whisper would put its light out. He couldn't afford to be that. He was stronger than that. He was made of tougher material than that. And Sakura needed him. He just knew it. Subaro was a lot tougher than he seemed.
And if he had hurt Sakura, there would be Hell to pay –
He could faintly hear the sounds of grunting and what appeared to be a physical struggle for both.
And the sounds became closer, stronger, clearer –
-- Sakura…! --
And then there was the sound of glass shattering and a pained, female cry.
Sakura… Sakura… Sakura!
And he realized he had rasped her name out because he was starting to feel the dryness of his throat, the pain burning throughout his body. Her name on his lips went unnoticed by Subaro and Sakura; his voice too low to carry to their ears and draw their attention.
It was taking all his effort to push himself up with his arms; to force his eyelids apart and stare through bleary eyes at the large figure of Subaro as he sauntered towards a car that he had thrown Sakura into no less. He started to drag himself forward with no destination in mind but to stop Subaro from hurting Sakura even more, and he could hear the pit-pattering of glass as it rained off of a rising body, the shuffling and muffles and more glass breaking as a body maneuvered through the damage and climbed on to the hood of the damaged car.
Sakura was hunched over, eyes narrowed, slightly breathless with blood running down her arms and shoulders and face, cuts adorning her body from the glass she was flung through. If she was any other person, all of them knew she would have been dead.
Now she was being reckless. Syaoran grit his teeth as he watched her lunge at him, enraged, and Subaro merely stepped to the side and grabbed her neck before slamming her back-first on to the hood of the car, denting it and making her gasp and her eyes go wide. She was smarter than that. Why was she being so reckless --!?
It was then Syaoran noticed a gun laying unforgotten beneath another car. He pulled himself towards it, leaving a trail of blood in his wake. But he didn't care. His focus was on the gun. He needed to get to it. He needed to help Sakura. He couldn't – wouldn't -- let her get hurt anymore. It felt like forever before he finally reached the gun, heaving, breathless from exertion. By then, Subaro had already lifted Sakura a good feet or so off of the ground so she was dangling in the air, clutching Subaro's arm while his hand clutched her throat, cutting her off from oxygen.
It hurt his arms to raise and lift the gun, but he managed, though his hands were shaking uncontrollably.
He took in a deep breath and started to apply pressure on the trigger –
Syaoran froze when hearing an ominous click.
He dared to look up to see Jiro standing there, staring at him with a blank expression, looking worse for wear with his battered, but alive nonetheless, appearance. Syaoran was staring right into the barrel hole of the gun Jiro had pointed at his forehead. Syaoran didn't take his gun off of Subaro though, not even with his own life threatened even more now.
"Syao… ran…" Sakura gasped out, struggling to get free of Subaro. She could see Jiro hovering over Syaoran from the corner of her eye.
Subaro smirked, feeling confident Jiro would deal with Syaoran before he got the chance to shoot a bullet at him.
It's okay, Sakura, Syaoran wanted to say to her, to reassure her.
But his throat was too dry and parched, and it hurt far too much for him to talk.
So he didn't.
And several gunshots were fired from more than two guns.
The Tokyo Police Department was its usual hustle and bustle as the evening went by. Phones were ringing. Robberies were being reported. A kidnap was being noted. There were several investigations going on all beneath one roof, but that's how it was, and the day went by.
The Chief of the Tokyo police was confined in his office as he was currently being briefed by some of his subordinates on a previous investigation and its completion. Pictures lay scattered on the Chief's desk as he stared at Kaname, his subordinate, although still higher-ranked than most officers, at Zack, and at Daniel, other subordinates.
"And this is all the evidence?" the Chief asked, giving a pointed look at the security tapes, the pictures, the tape recordings, etcetera.
"Hn." Kaname nodded in confirmation. "Along with countless number of witnesses from the back-up that had arrived on the scene in Death Valley."
"Aah," the Chief hummed thoughtfully as he recalled being informed of American S.W.A.T. Team and police getting involved in the bust, though that couldn't be helped since it wasn't as if Kaname could have all of Tokyo police fly to Death Valley.
"They saw the experiments," Kaname continued. "And they also caught most, if not all, of the criminals that were involved in the underground fight."
After the building started to collapse – courtesy of Kenji and Daniel's explosives that were set up – the audience from Syaoran's and Youkai's fight fled out of the building, only to find S.W.A.T., FBI, and other American police waiting for them and ready to arrest every single one of the guilty. Kaname, prior to the break-in of the research center, had set up for the feds to get involved. It was only natural America would want to help, what-with them being completely unaware of what Subaro was doing on American lands.
"Subaro is dead then," the Chief confirmed, and Zack grinned.
"And all of his research centers are in the process of being shut down?"
Kaname nodded. With Rika's cooperation, they were in the process of locating all of Subaro's locations and shutting down every single one of his research centers and putting a stop to the experiments.
"Has been arrested," Kaname confirmed as well. He was found guilty of contributing to Subaro's plans just by digging through Subaro's and Sarutobi's computer systems. That wasn't hard at all.
"Good, good," the Chief mused as he leaned back in his seat. "I don't suppose Kinomoto-san will be back any time soon?"
Kaname shook his head, smiling now. "She is still on hospital leave, sir."
Sakura had been proven innocent and all previous charges were lifted.
"It is a shame though…" the Chief started saying as he turned his gaze to the window, a sigh passing through parted lips. "About Yamazaki. It will not be the same without him."
"No," Kaname agreed. "Indeed it will not."
A heavy silence settled on the four men gathered in the Chief's office. The older man eventually sighed before turning to his subordinates. "The thief, Li Syaoran, is behaving himself, I hope?"
Kaname looked suddenly sheepish and the Chief, not liking his expression one bit, narrowed his eyes.
"He is still under bed arrest in the hospital, isn't he?" the Chief asked, his tone low and dangerous.
"Ah, weeeelll…" Kaname laughed impishly, having the grace to look apologetic. "…He escaped, sir."
A deathly silence passed throughout the Tokyo police department, and pedestrians walking by the police station jumped when they heard the Chief's outraged cry:
There's a beginning to every story – or every journey – every adventure, for that matter. It starts somewhere, reaches its climax, and is resolved in the end. The adventure ends when the hero triumphs. It's strange when you push your whole being into something and find that you're suddenly at the end of things.
You don't really know what to feel when you've reached the end. Relief? Weariness? Happiness? Exhaustion? Wistfulness?
For some, the end is bleak and tragic.
For others… it's beautiful.
A vein twitched in her temple.
He was practically singing with glee as he called out again, "Nurse Sakuraaaaaaaaa…!! ♥"
"I said…" she practically seethed through gritted teeth, "Not. To. Call. Me. That."
Li Syaoran flashed her a devilish grin from his position on the couch. He had somehow escaped the hospital, even when he had police officers guarding his room. Sakura figured he had flirted his way through several nurses to get out. Just thinking about it made her brow go into a twitching frenzy. But now he was bumming around on her couch, abusing her hospitality, and making her take care of him… again! Goddamn him for still being injured!
"Maa, maa, Sakura-chan, you're not going to make an injured man get up and attempt to drink that lovely, refreshing glass of lemonade, now are you?" He pouted at her.
But his eyes.
His eyes were LAUGHING AT HER!
"Damn you," she uttered darkly, an aura of killer-intent coming from her like waves.
His right arm had been broken in his fight against Youkai, so it was still in a cast and an arm sling. His other hand was bandaged up to his elbow, considering the abuse he put his skin and knuckles through when fighting. While he was healing and looked much better than he previously did, Sakura looked like nothing had touched her at all. No thanks to Subaro's injections, Sakura had become an even faster healer. With hands on her hips, Sakura gave him an exasperated and helpless look before shaking her head and giving in. She picked up the glass of lemonade and lifted it to his lips, watching him drink it down and – just because she was feeling evil – tilted it more than necessary and watched with glee as he drank quickly to keep himself from choking.
She set the cup down and smiled when it was his turn to glare at her. He scowled. "Tryin' t'choke me now, eh? Gonna suffocate me in my sleep next?"
"Heehee." She grinned, teeth bared and all. "I was planning no such thing. But now that you mention it…"
With his not-broken-arm, Syaoran threw a couch cushion at her head. She ducked and laughed, sticking her tongue out at him tauntingly.
It was a miracle that they were both still alive; that Syaoran was still alive – that everyone was still alive. When Jiro was about to shoot Syaoran, Jamie and Kenji had come rushing towards them, and Kaname appeared out of nowhere. All three of them had shot down Jiro. Syaoran rolled to the side when they came, just in time to avoid the bullet Jiro had shot at him before he was gunned down. The amber-eyed thief of Japan didn't hesitate then to shoot Subaro. Syaoran had asked what the hell took Kenji and Jamie so long to get there but wouldn't find out until he regained consciousness later on. They had, apparently, been tied down by some of the rogues that were fighting to escape the backup that was there to arrest them.
Daniel came rushing out soon after, apologizing for letting Jiro get out of his sight. Meiling and the others turned out to be fine, triumphing in their own separate battles.
From then on, Syaoran had been in the hospital for a few weeks, under 'bed arrest.' The Chief, now that the infamous thief of Japan was caught, was not going to let him escape.
But he did anyway, in the end.
Meiling and the others weren't held to any charges, even if they had previous ties with Subaro. The world didn't need to know that, and all records of them ever being involved with Subaro were swiped clean. That was their reward for playing a role in getting Subaro. Sarutobi had, not a moment sooner, been arrested, along with Subaro's other main business partners: Fujimaki Jin, Wolfgang Krieger, Seung Kwan, Xiang Hsin, and Devyn Clairborne.
All was well again and back to normal.
Well… relatively normal, for the most part.
She gnashed her teeth and inhaled through her nose.
Her eyes were closed, but her brow was twitching haphazardly.
"I thought you said your hand is broken?" she asked through grit teeth.
"Why, it is, Sakura-chan," he said, smiling sweetly.
"Then why…" Her eyes flashed open, fire burning in them. "is it groping my ass?!!"
"Heheheheh, now, now, Sakur—"
"ALL THIS TIME, YOU – YOU!! YOU HAVE BEEN FAKING IT ALL THIS TIME --!!"
"Heh heh, Sakura, don't look at me like tha –"
"WHEN I'M THROUGH WITH YOU, YOU WON'T HAVE TO FAKE IT ANYMORE!"
"Sakura – SAKURA! DOWN! NO! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH HEEEELLLPPP…!!"
"LI SYAORAN, GET BACK HEEEEEEREEE!!"
…Yep. All was normal.
Yes. This chapter is ten times shorter than the last. But that's how it is. It's the end. Yes, IT IS THE END. NO there is no love confession. Why you ask? Because it isn't suitable for the Sakura and Syaoran of Wonderland. You see, they skipped that part the first moment they started making out. I wasn't sure about the flashbacks I input for this chapter, so I kept it short and to a minimum.
I hope… you all liked the ending, and that it did not disappoint you. I am sorry to those who may have expected more – a love confession perhaps – but for this fic, it is not necessary. For Sakura, it's new. For Syaoran, it's there. They have each other in the end and that's all that matters. And I felt I needed to end this fic on the same note it started… you know, Syaoran being the little deviant he is and all.
I'm really at a loss of what to say right now. This fic is over… and… yeah. Just… thanks to everyone for all of your support, all of your reviews, all of your favs and alerts and what-not. It's been a constant inspiration and drive for me to finish this fanfic, and finish it I did! I can't believe it… I really can't. So thank you, everyone, really. You've all been so amazing, especially since all of you pretty much boosted my ego sky-high. –winks-
I thought I wasn't going to write anymore CCS fics after Wonderland, but I do have ccs fics on hiatus, along with new ideas in mind that I want to work on, so if you wish to stalk me or bug me or just be friends, go ahead and add me as a friend on LJ! You all can expect more CCS fics from me in the future. But really… thanks again dudes. You all rock my world.
PS: I'll probably end up writing a short one-shot in continuation to Wonderland full of SyaoSaku fluffiness in the future... that is... if enough people ask/want me to.
PPS: If you guys are interested in finding out about two new CCS fics i'm working on, but will not post at ffnet for a while, there are links in my profile, and i'll mention them in my lj.
-HEARTS YOU ALL-
I go crazy when you kiss me
Show me how you miss me
Take me with you back to wonderland
I'm In Heaven ( When You Kiss Me ) - ATC